The air is filled with the (obnoxious, if you ask me) begging calls of young American Goldfinch, a species that is among our latest nesters. We've started catching families. The adults are just now beginning their fall molt, and their old feathers are extremely worn.
I've also netted a lot of hummingbirds this year; one day this week I released eleven. I presume many are the same individuals, but between mulitple birds in the nets at the same time and plumage differences, I know there were at least seven different ones out there one day. Hummingbirds require special bands and permits, so I just release the birds when I catch them.
The most disappointing news of the week was finding out that the massive construction project next door at Henry Ford Community College will not be complete for at least another month. This loud, dusty project is directly adjacent to my site, and the bulldozers, piledrivers, and other big noisy machinery get going just after sunrise. I believe this is having a negative impact on my banding activities. The resident birds seem to be used to the commotion, but when the hubbub gets vigorous, the migrants seem to move away from it all. Although the very large underground retention basin, capped with a parking lot, is supposed to be complete by October 15, this is a three year project and will continue the next two summers. Arrgg!